In an ideal world, our favorite footballers would possess all the traits to be unstoppable on the pitch: speed, intelligence, footwork, ballstriking, you name it.
But because we can’t have it all, some players’ best abilities are offset by specific weaknesses. If a winger is loaded with pace, they may not be such a great passer. If a center-back is duel-dominant on the ground, air and through channels, they may not be technically sound on the ball and so on and so forth.
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicking off on Nov. 20, these five stars competing in the tournament will form the foundation of building the ultimate footballer by analyzing their head (IQ, vision, heading), torso (agility), legs (speed), right foot and left foot.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Philadelphia sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Build your ultimate player and see how it rates:
Lionel Messi, Argentina
Best trait: Messi’s left foot is like glue. His dribbling, first touches, passing, curling and shooting ability with it is one of the best ever. The Argentine star will be searching for his first ever World Cup title in what he said is also his last time playing in the prestigious competition.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Best trait: Ronaldo is arguably one of the best right-footed players ever. The pace and power he can hit shots with is absurd, along with close-quarters dribbling and first touches. Ronaldo will also be looking to win his first ever World Cup.
Neymar Jr., Brazil
Best trait: Neymar possesses tremendous agility in tight situations, doesn’t have stamina issues and is one of the strongest in his winger position. He’s known for his flair, which makes him a solid choice for torso. Neymar is starring for a Brazil side that is loaded with versatile forwards.
Kylian Mbappé, France
Best trait: One of, if not, the fastest player in the sport. Not many people of his quality have his speed, both running vertically or horizontally. Mbappé helped France win the 2018 World Cup and became the youngest ever scorer in the tournament’s final against Croatia.
Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium
Best trait: The best passer in the game today – and probably for the last 4-5 years. He makes the most ridiculous passes look simple and collects assists with ease. De Bruyne will be looking to take Belgium to the World Cup Final after losing to France 1-0 in th